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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for APRIL 16, 2022 release.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for APRIL 16, 2022 release.

By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at since 1994.

These notes for good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at  or at No winery can buy their way into – or out of – this publication.

Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).

Currently, the wine media have no access to the tasting samples usually provided to us in the LCBO lab on a fortnightly basis. This will go on or some time. HOWEVER,  the wine media will still have access to the advance spreadsheet of the wines to be released. So I know what is to be released and when. SOME (but not many) of these 100 or so biweekly released wines I have recently tasted since January 2020 or so, and I can comfortably recommend them based on this prior sampling.

** Some Recent Drink Books I Reviewed ---

1.THE CURIOUS BARTENDER'S GUIDE TO RUM (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2017, 2020, 160 pages, $19.95 hardbound) is by Tristan Stephenson. It was originally part of a much larger work in 2017, and now it has been abridged with an expanded Directory of Distilleries. So: there is material on the history of rum, how rum is made, and some recipes for rum cocktails – plus a glossary. Thumbnail sketches all the way and a bargain for under $20. Quality/price rating:  88.

2.WINTER DRINKS (Ryland Peters & Small, 2020, 144 pages, $19.95 hardbound) has been pulled together by Julia Charles. It's a publisher's package of previous preps by several food and drink writers, most notably Louise Pickford with 17 and Julia herself with 16. Eleven other writers also contributed. So here are 75 recipes to warm our hearts, with hot drinks, toddies, part cocktails, and mocktails. Included also are hot chocolates, warm milks, coffee drinks and teas, as well as restorative mulls, revivers and soothers. My fave is the sparkling cocktails. My wife likes the sparkling mocktails. Chacun a son gout. Quality/price rating:  89

3.SUMMER DRINKS; over 100 refreshing recipes to enjoy in the sunshine (Ryland Peters & Small, 2021, 144 pages, $20 hardbound) is an other publisher's project for Ryland Peters & Small. Here 15 UK chefs and food writers give us all the preps (with proper attribution found at the back of the book). The most prolific are Ben Reed (24, a quarter of the total) and Laura Gladwin (20). Julia Charles was the editorial director on this one, and she contributes 13 preps. Arrangement is by style: aperitifs, cocktails, spritzes, coolers, slushies, floats, punches, pitchers, mocktails and juices. More than enough preps for three months of summer!  Quality/price rating:  89

** Some Recommended Wines from the LCBO's Limited Time Offers selections...these  are good value...on sale  through Sunday April 24...
[red] +274753     Hidden Bench Estate Organic Pinot Noir $34.95, now $31.95, save $3        
[rose] +14882  Arterra Saintly Rose VQA $18, now $15, save $3
[white] +84988  Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay    $26.95,  now $23.95, save $3            
[fizz] +20979 Juliet Prosecco Rose DOC $14.95, now $12.95, save $2
[splurge] +650432  Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino $53.95, now $48.95, save $5        

Wines Under $20
W+928580    SANTA CAROLINA GRAN RESERVA CHARDONNAY    Sustainable, carbon neutral, DO Valle del Itata    2019    $18.95     MVC/QPR: 92
W+22498    MARIETA ALBARIÑO    DO Rías Baixas    2020    $18.95     MVC/QPR: 89
R+516765    JEAN-PIERRE MOUEIX BORDEAUX    AC    2018    $17.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+354134    CHÂTEAU BELLEVUE LA FORÊT    AP Fronton    2019 $14.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+573519    VILLA PUCCINI RISERVA CHIANTI    DOCG    2016    $15.95     MVC/QPR: 89

Wines Over $20
W+466144    J. MOREAU & FILS CHABLIS    AC    2020    $24.95     MVC/QPR: 89
Fizz+183764    CAVE DE LUGNY CUVÉE MILLÉSIMÉE BRUT CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE    Sustainable, traditional method, AC, Burgundy, France    2016    $24.95     MVC/QPR: 89
R+209148    MARQUÉS DE MURRIETA FINCA YGAY RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    2016    $32.95
R+33894    LE CLOS JORDANNE VILLAGE PINOT NOIR    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2019    $24.95 MVC/QPR: 89
R+395855    HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE CABERNET/MERLOT    VQA Short Hills Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2019    $24.95    MVC/QPR: 89       

Dean Tudor,  Prof Emeritus Ryerson School of Journalism
Treasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada

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